I have new custom Taxonomy for cars list spec. I would like to know what is the best way to create a different template for parent(main) and second layer and the third layer children taxonomies.

I can not use this way taxonomy-{taxonomy}-{slug}.php, Because I have a lot of category and subcategory names.

First there is the Brands page (main tax):


If I choose BMW for example. there is the Series page (second layer):

Series 1
Series 2
Series 3

And if, for example, I choose series 3, I will enter the page of Generations of this series (third layer):

E21 facelift

And if I choose E21 for example:

I enter the specifications page of this car (my new post-type).

Url: mysite{dot}com/cars/bmw/3-series/e21

I want each of the layers of the main category, the second layer, and the third layer to have a separate template.

Update: In this answer we can seperate children and parent. How I can do this for the second layer and the third layer children?

2 Answers 2


The {$type}_template_hierarchy filter can be used to add templates to the list of files to check for each request:

Filters the list of template filenames that are searched for when retrieving a template to use.

With this filter, you can do something like below: add to theme's functions.php or an mu-plugin (untested):

add_filter( 'taxonomy_template_hierarchy', static function ( $templates ) {
    $term = get_queried_object();

    if ( 'car-brand' !== $term->taxonomy ) {
        return $templates;

    $ancestors = get_ancestors( $term->term_id, 'car-brand', 'taxonomy' );

    $new_template = sprintf( 'car-brand-ancestors-%d.php', count( $ancestors ) );

    return array( $new_template ) + $templates;
} );

With this approach, templates would apply like so:

Top-level Term: car-brand-ancestors-0.php
└─ Child Term: car-brand-ancestors-1.php
   └─ Grandchild Term: car-brand-ancestors-2.php

I use Query Monitor to check the template hierarchy, and I would recommend doing so here, as you'll probably want to adjust to prioritize more specific templates first.

  • I replaced category with car-brand and created taxonomy-car-brand-0.php but it show me my index page and not working.
    – och
    Jul 1, 2023 at 8:07
  • I have made changes to the answer to use car-brand custom taxonomy. Please try. Recommend installing Query Monitor plugin to confirm the filter is working; and please make sure to use the correct filename.
    – Caleb
    Jul 1, 2023 at 16:20

Solution: This is worked fine:

In may taxonomy-MyTaxName.php file:

$term = get_term_by('slug', get_query_var('term'), 'MyTaxName');
$ancestors = get_ancestors( $term->term_id, 'MyTaxName', 'taxonomy' );
if (count( $ancestors ) == 0) {
  get_template_part('MyTaxName', '1');
if (count( $ancestors ) == 1) {
  get_template_part('MyTaxName', '2');
if (count( $ancestors ) == 2) {
  get_template_part('MyTaxName', '3');

And I created 3 files:

  1. MyTaxName-1.php

  2. MyTaxName-1.php

  3. MyTaxName-1.php

  • This is effectively a copy of my answer. 👎
    – Caleb
    Jul 1, 2023 at 16:49
  • @Caleb Your answer not working!
    – och
    Jul 6, 2023 at 17:47
  • That's fine, but your answer is clearly derived from my answer, which means a comment acknowledging that it got you to a working solution.
    – Caleb
    Jul 6, 2023 at 19:05

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